Harry L. Barton, (1908 – 2001). Born in Cleveland and raised in Seattle, Harry Barton spent his life doing the thing he truly loved – painting. Whether in the Pacific Northwest around Seattle, Hood Canal, and Puget Sound; New York city’s Art Student’s League, Central Park, and the parks and beaches of Long Island; or in Pennsylvania and New England (he often summered in Rockport, Massachusetts and Kennebunkport, Maine), Harry’s life was about art.
Harry’s career as an artist embraced almost every medium and a great many genres from charcoal and pen and ink to watercolor, tempura, and oil; from his early work in Seattle as a silk screen artist and an illustrator for the Sterling Theatres and the telephone company, to his New York work as an illustrator of Western pulp fiction, detective and mystery novels, and movie and fashion advertisements, and finally, to his extensive activity as a portrait and landscape painter.
In the spring of 1945, he decided to study for the summer at the Art Student’s League in New York with Frank Reilly, and in the Fall of that year he was offered work in New York as an illustrator for Gale Phillips Associates. Moving his family from Seattle, he, along with his wife Pauline and daughters Joan and Linda, took up residence in Bayside Queens, and soon moved to the Auburndale area of Flushing, where he had his own freelance studio and lived for the rest of his life.
Over the years his illustrations were featured in The Saturday Evening Post, Argosy, Boy’s Life, Down East, and American Artist, as well as on movie billboards for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and in fashion advertising for Lord & Taylor and Gertz department stores. His main body of work as an illustrator can be found on hard cover and paperback novels published by such major firms as Dell, Ace Books, Dial Press, and Farrar Strauss & Giroux.
Harry’s paintings and sketches were exhibited in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Salmagundi Club, Lord & Taylor, the Smith Gallery, and Illustration Club in New York; the Blue Heron Gallery in Wellfleet, Cape Cod; the Schaff Gallery in Cincinnati; and the Mast Cove Gallery in Kennebunkport. He received a number of prizes for his work and his work is in private collections throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Harry was a member of the American Artists Professional League, the Salmagundi Club, and the Art Student’s League of New York.